TAMIL NADU

PMK reiterates demand on fee increase

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) on Saturday reiterated its demand for scrapping the hike in annual fee for management quota seats in self-financing engineering colleges.

Welcoming Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s statement earlier in the day that it was the government’s intention that education should not be commercialised, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said it was also important that the government’s actions did not favour those who were commercialising education. This was the intention of the government’s allies.

Contending that the government had held consultations not only with the leaders of its allies but also with the representatives of the allied parties in the Assembly, Dr. Ramadoss said neither his party nor the Communist Party of India nor the CPI (Marxist) had agreed to the move to double the fee.

While it was understandable that consultations could not be held before signing every file, policy decisions could be taken after discussions with leaders of the allies.

No motive

There was no motive behind making the demand, he explained.

Pointing out that the present regime had amended the 1992 Tamil Nadu Educational Institutions (Prohibition of Collection of Capitation Fee) Act, making collection of any fee over and above what was fixed by the government an offence, Dr. Ramadoss wondered in what way it was justifiable to concede that the government’s orders only remained on paper, when it was armed with legal backing and authority.

What was the guarantee that managements of the colleges would not collect more than the prescribed fee this year too, when they had termed the quantum of hike unacceptable, Dr. Ramadoss asked.

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